WASHINGTON

More implicated in nuclear missile corps cheating

The cheating scandal inside the Air Force’s nuclear missile corps is expanding, with the number of service members implicated by investigators now roughly double the 34 reported just a week ago, officials said Tuesday.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the additional 30-plus airmen suspected of being involved in cheating on proficiency tests are alleged to have participated in the cheating directly or were involved indirectly.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information by name while the investigation is ongoing.

The Air Force announced on Jan. 15 that while it was investigating possible criminal drug use by some airmen, it discovered that one missile officer at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., had shared test questions with 16 other officers. It said another 17 admitted to knowing about this cheating but did not report it.

TULSA, Okla.

Teen who plummeted 3,000 feet recovering well

A 16-year-old Texas girl who plummeted more than 3,000 feet to the ground in an Oklahoma skydiving accident survived and is recovering from her many injuries, a doctor said Tuesday.

Dr. Jeffrey Bender, a trauma surgeon at OU Medical Center who treated Makenzie Wethington when she was flown Saturday from a skydiving school in Chickasha, said the girl hurt her liver and broke her pelvis, lumbar spine in her lower back, a shoulder blade and several ribs. She also has a broken tooth.

“I don’t know the particulars of the accident as I wasn’t there. But if she truly fell 3,000 feet, I have no idea how she survived,” Bender said at a news conference at the hospital, where the girl’s parents also spoke to reporters.

Not only did she survive, but she was in good condition Tuesday, Bender said, and was expected to leave the intensive care unit.

The girl’s parents agreed to let her perform the jump, but her father, Joe Wethington, now says the skydiving company shouldn’t have allowed it.

MEXICO CITY

Government seeking to legalize, control vigilantes

After months of tacit cooperation with rural vigilantes trying to drive out a cult-like drug cartel, the Mexican government is seeking to permanently solve one of its toughest security problems with a plan to legalize the growing movement and bring it under the army’s control.

But the risks are high.

To succeed, the government must enforce military discipline and instill respect for human rights and due process among more than 20,000 heavily armed civilians, then eventually disband them and send them back home in the western state of Michoacan.

Vigilante leaders met Tuesday with government officials to hash out details of the agreement that would put avocado and lime pickers with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles under army command. The Mexican military has a century-old tradition of mobilizing “rural defense corps” manned by peasants to fight bandits and uprisings in the countryside.

GENEVA

Peace talks cut short over U.S. aid to Syria’s opposition

Syrian government anger over a U.S. decision to resume aid to the opposition prompted the U.N. mediator to cut short Tuesday’s peace talks, but he said no one was to blame for the impasse and that the negotiations would continue.